Neil Brown rss

7 March 2015

It is profoundly disturbing that the Liberal Party seems to have taken leave of its senses again and is about to undergo another bout of leadership instability. But, in the… Read more

13 December 2014

I had hoped to bring you a cheery Christmas tale, but the political goings on in Melbourne and Canberra mean I will have to postpone that pleasure and be serious.… Read more


Whitlam – my part in his downfall

25 October 2014

My mother used to say ‘If you can’t say something nice about the dead, don’t say anything at all.’ Of course, that does not stop you from saying the nice… Read more

4 October 2014

I regret to say that this will be my last column, at least in this regular form. I am afraid that my work, particularly in arbitration and mediation, has so… Read more

20 September 2014

Troy Bramston (‘Gorton vs McMahon: the secret memo’ 30 August) joins a long line of journalists who keep repeating the official story of how John Gorton ceased to be Prime… Read more

6 September 2014

There have certainly been some changes in how governments go about their business. In the past, when trying to work out what laws they should make to restrict peoples’ rights,… Read more

23 August 2014

We came from Scotland when my father was nine and his family ditched the old world a year after the end of the First World War and came to Australia,… Read more

2 August 2014

The success of Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop in handling the aftermath of the ghastly events in Ukraine has been dazzling. I have been pondering how they made such a… Read more

26 July 2014

Being an insomniac, I woke about 4 a.m. last Friday, turned on the BBC and there was the news already, although the details were sketchy, that a couple of hours… Read more

19 July 2014

I wonder if you have noticed that the public response here and overseas to the current Middle Eastern crisis has been more muted and subdued than the reaction to previous… Read more

12 July 2014

I feel as if I am writing the Diary this week, as I recount the ups and downs of my appointment to the committee to recommend members of the boards… Read more

5 July 2014

I hope the proposals from the one- man committee of inquiry to make the ABC and SBS ‘more commercial’ are rejected. It is superficially attractive to charge a fee for… Read more

28 June 2014

A column like this cannot ignore the terrible events in the Middle East as Iraq falls apart from bloody-mindedness, Islamic fanaticism and lack of national identity, Syria is bombed into… Read more

21 June 2014

I originally thought the Abbott/Hockey budget was pretty sensible and logical in terms of the financial crisis facing the country; if you are spending so much that you are steadily… Read more

14 June 2014

Those of you who have read this column recently know that what has been agitating me is the expansion of government which has put us into hock. There have been… Read more

7 June 2014

I agree with Lucy Turnbull about Malcolm’s dinner with Clive Palmer. Her father Tom Hughes used to be in politics and had the pleasure of working and eating in the… Read more

31 May 2014

I do not like talking about personalities in politics. What is at stake is too important to be channelled through the fortunes of one man or woman. But the budget… Read more

24 May 2014

It is a minority opinion, but to me there seems to be a remarkable lack of passion and enthusiasm in the opposition to the budget. What with the build-up and… Read more


17 May 2014

It looks as if at long last we have a government that is prepared to make some hard and unpopular, but necessary, decisions in the national interest. The budget contains… Read more

10 May 2014

I devoted most of last weekend to attending the conference of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia in Canberra. The Institute promotes the settlement of all forms of disputes,… Read more

3 May 2014

Our criticism of the ABC loses its credibility if we do not praise it on those occasions when praise is deserved. So I have to say that its coverage of… Read more

26 April 2014

There are now another 156 reasons for keeping our constitutional monarchy, for that is the number of leading barristers who took the step last week of having themselves appointed as… Read more

19 April 2014

Monday nights are back to normal and I can watch the new season of Game of Thrones, the brilliant dungeons and dragons fantasy. You will recall that, many months ago,… Read more

12 April 2014

I was thrilled to see the implacable enthusiasm of Afghani voters as they lined up in their thousands for hours to vote in the presidential election, despite the threats of… Read more

5 April 2014

It was good to see the government’s decision to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, as the reforms will strike a neat balance between freedom of speech on… Read more